- Kamakshi Belwal
JINDAL; A SAUDADE
Updated: Feb 2, 2022
It’s difficult for me to write this article, with tears in my eyes and shaky fingers, as I reminisce my favorite moments in Jindal while I sit in my bedroom at home and see my final year of Bachelors fade away, right in front of my eyes.
It’ll take time (and after a lot of initial denials) for a majority of the student body to admit that O.P. Jindal Global University is a home away from home, but they will never oppose it after a point. It is a safe space and haven for us as we are surrounded by our loved ones (almost 24x7), as we have every facility available for us at a stone’s throw and a pretty amazing faculty who give in their 100%. And whenever we combat our ups and downs, we will always have a shoulder to rely on and help us out- be it our roommate, our classmates, our professors, the Sodexo didis and bhaiyas who help us, or just a random stranger. They are there to pick us up from our lows and make sure we achieve our highs every time, feeling proud as they see us grow and succeed.
However, Jindal just isn’t that. Sure, these are a part of it, but, it just isn’t that. It just isn’t about the academics or working hard to ensure you get those little Os and As in your transcripts. It just isn’t about trying to get into societies or the college sports teams or the Schools student council and giving your 100% each time.
Jindal is about staying up all night with your roommates and friends while all of you are cramped up on a bed, as you discuss life, politics, books, movies, talk about your favourite thoughts and quotes, relationships, your fondest memories, share your darkest secret, gossip about all the drama in college, and just get to know each other. It is about having a dance party or jamming session in your room as you play and share your favourite songs, albums and playlists- each beat holding a special story and a special in your heart.
It is about pulling all-nighters in the reading room before a major test or exam with your friends and classmates but giving up after a point and rushing to Amul at 1:56 AM to buy a coffee (or chai, depends in your preference) and our beloved Aloo Tikki Burger with Cheej because ‘you can’t study on an empty stomach’. And as you walk back with a coffee in one hand and the burger in the other, you and your friend have the deepest and most memorable conversations ever, covering everything in the universe- except for the syllabus that is coming for the 8 o’clock exam. Although, you soon realize that its 3 AM and you have studied almost nothing so you call your classmate because even they would be awake studying the night before the exams and beg them for notes.
Jindal is about going to Nescafe between classes and getting your coffee from Sandeep Bhaiya and when he asks how you are and how have your classes been, his smile just warms you up because it is so real and curious. It’s not an obligation for him but he genuinely wants to know. He truly is the glue that ties Jindal together. Not to mention Honey Bhaiya from Juice ‘N’ More. His light and playful conversations will make your day, not to mention his cold coffee is a must.
I believe that no Jindal college story is complete without mentioning Flagpole and the memories made there, especially the February and March warm and sunny afternoons that you spend there with your friends. Sipping the beverage you got from Sandeep Bhaiya as all of you laugh about the jokes cracked in class until one of your friends takes out their phone and clicks pictures of everyone, or forces you to click their picture because ‘the light is good and I look sunkissed’.
As you sit at the flagpole, storing and locking these memories permanently in your head, you wish that everything pauses for just a second. You wish you can stay like this forever with your laughing friends as you enjoy having little to no tensions and responsibilities but alas, life goes on and you have to press play as you continue to laugh some more.
Not to mention, one can’t miss sitting in the football field on such afternoons until the sunsets as you witness the Sonipat sky being painted in gorgeous hues of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows.
And you sit there, you sit till the moment the last rays of warmth have finally left you and all the Jindal sportsmen have started to arrive on the field to either practice their sport or play a match. You know you should be going back to your room or back to the library to study but witnessing one match does no harm, right?
Additionally, there is no Jindal experience without the food court. It has always been a safe space for many of us- our place of comfort and warmth and reassurance. We always stop by the food court after a bad day to get our favourite meal, we stop by the food court to celebrate an unbelievable achievement, to simply get a break from the mess, to grab a bite to eat while you study for your exams or just because you were lazy. The food court has experienced it all- from searching and fighting for an empty table as your friend goes and orders your food to complaining about how overrated Dominoes is or how expensive Keventers is but you will end up buying something from it eventually (also I highly recommend the butter chicken with cheese Garlic naan combo from Moti Mahal or the Noodle Box from Bercos if you’re low on money).
Jindal is about going on random walks around campus with your friends or alone at midnight and just sitting on the benches in the field as you enjoy the cool breeze and you think about everything. Jindal is about sleeping late on Saturdays after binge-watching a movie or show and getting up at 9:30 AM on Sundays and rushing to the Mess in your PJs with messy hair to eat Chole Bhature and Chocos and get cold coffee.
Our college experience is about going to Yellow Box between or after classes to have momos and then rushing back to make it in time for our class or just going there on Thursday nights to enjoy and take a break from campus and campus life.
Jindal is about volunteering at our infamous college fests, Biswamil and Magnus. It is about volunteering for almost all the committees and making amazing memories and friends while giving up and sacrificing your sleep for those few weeks. However, you know it’ll be worth it when you see all your effort put up and displayed during the days of the fests and the student body admiring it. That, along with clicking a thousand pictures of your outfits and the performances.
Trying to remember almost every worthy Jindal experience is difficult as it’s so overwhelming. However, I believe this is where social media comes in. You know you can relate to someone or the other especially in the middle of the pandemic and especially with someone from college because even they are missing the place as much as you are. And to read these posts the best pages honestly are @_humansofjindal_, @flagpole, @overheardatjgu, and @semicolon.
They cover almost every aspect and emotion that you may be feeling and they put it in such a relatable manner that you don’t feel so sad about missing out on the Jindal experience. Even back on campus, they become an escape for you because they post such relatable content that you’re reassured. You are not alone in this (I highly recommend you follow these pages if you don't).
It is understandable why many members of the student body may find the college and the college experience a bit toxic at first, however, it just takes time. It takes time to understand yourself in a new setting, your likes and dislikes, and experimenting with different sets of people. Once you find the right set of people for you and to hang out with, you will feel much better and will not find Jindal so toxic anymore. Rather, you would be thanking the place even more for helping you find your true self and providing a safe space to explore yourself to the extent that not the world but you accept yourself, 100 percent.
Cover Image Courtesy : Natasha Yadav